In the 12 months to June 2021, a total of 461,010 home moves took place, up by more than 50% compared to the previous 12 months. Home movers doubled in every region in England and Wales, with the total number of moves in the last year almost 100,000 higher than at any point in the last decade.
Andrew Asaam, mortgages director at Halifax, said: “The rate and scale of the growth of the home mover market is quite remarkable. After several years of flat transaction numbers then a marked fall at the start of the pandemic, we’re now at a level not seen since 2007.”
The regions which saw the largest increase in home movers were the South East (169%) and London (165%). Detached homes were the most popular type of property for movers (30%), slightly ahead of semi-detached properties (28%).
Mr Assam said: “There are many factors that have driven this activity, perhaps the biggest of which is the ‘race for space’ amongst those planning to work from home in the long term. The timing of some of these moves will also have been influenced by people wanting to benefit from the Stamp Duty holiday.”
The average price paid by home movers increased by 11% in the 12 months to September 2021, to £387,485.
First time buyers return to the marketMany first time buyer mortgage deals were withdrawn during the pandemic, but as these deals were gradually reintroduced, first time buyers also returned to the market during the first half of the year.
Just under 211,000 first time buyers got onto the property ladder between January and the end of June, accounting for 44% of all sales during this period, and representing a 74% increase on the same six months last year.
The report noted that the boom in sales wasn’t limited to movers, with more first time buyers in the first six months of this this year, than in the first half of any of the last 10 years. Those getting on to the housing ladder accounted for almost half of all mortgage-backed purchases, which is in line with the long-term average.